My dear old car is back on the road feeling as good as new. Well, as good as a 12 year old car can feel to me. The onboard computer has been replaced, and the mechanic who worked on it said today the car still has a lot of life in it, and he agrees with my decision to keep it going for a few more years.
Wish I could trade my body in as easily. I've made an appointment with my doctor for the regular pap smear test next month, and I am going to ask her to refer me to a rheumatologist. Like most of us once we hit 50 and 60 and beyond, I have had aches and pains come and go. But in the past year, I wake up aching and got to bed aching. And I'm so tired all the time. I know I have osteo arthritis as well as osteopenia, both conditions confirmed by x-rays, blood tests, bone density scans, etc. and various treatments have been prescribed - Vitamin D, Panodol Osteo, osteopathy, weight bearing exercises, and TaiChi, all of which I have taken on in varying degrees. At the clinic we go to, one of the doctors told me a few years ago that I was getting old like we all do, and to just deal with it!
Today, my osteopath was quite worried about the state I was in. He told Ken later it is the worst he has ever seen me. I shuffled into his treatment room and plonked myself down in a chair. I used to bounce up on the treatment table, and roll over on to my back or front with ease, but now it takes longer to climb up, and rolling over doesn't exist for me any more! He asked me a few questions about exercise, diet and sleep patterns, and I had to admit that sleep is a low priority for me as there are so many things I like to do at night when it is quiet - read, sew, sit at the computer, sometimes up to 3 am. I usually wake up between 9 and 10 am, which is fine now that we are retired, but he said I've fallen into a bad sleep pattern which probably has a lot to do with the way I'm feeling. He asked if I drink much water and I admitted that I probably don't drink as much as I should - one or two glasses a day, and a few cups of tea or coffee.
Then he asked what exercise I do, and the answer to that is easy - none apart from neck and back stretching exercises in the mornings. He suggested I should walk or swim. I can't swim, so I'm not going down that track at my age! And I used to walk a lot - every morning before work for years, and on weekends with Ken, and with friends since I retired. But in the past year my feet and knees hurt so much if I walk any more than a block, so I don't do that either. He asked if I'd had blood tests to see if I had rheumatoid arthritis, and I said not that I'm aware of, so he suggested I should look into that.
My priority now is to get some straight answers from an expert. I don't want to be operated on, I don't want to exist on pain killers for the rest of my life, and I refuse to believe that at 67, my pain is due to getting old! But like Ken, I'm having to pace myself and cut back on some activities. For instance this year I have decided not to host our annual Australia Day party because the thought of cleaning up the back yard and patio (both of which need a lot of work), and setting up the gazebo and other items we put up for the day, just did my head in. And Ken is as bad as me - he doesn't have the strength or energy to do any of that work either. So I started phoning our friends to tell them of my decision, and the first one I called said straight away "But we can't NOT do Australia Day! I'll have it here!". The next friend said "I'll have it at my place next year!" Times like this you know who your friends are :-) Such a weight off my shoulders. Now I'm looking forward to the 26th January, with just some food preparation to do, then sit back and relax!